Tooth Removal (Oral Surgery)
You Want to Keep Your Teeth for a lifetime, but circumstances can arise that cause us to recommend removing a tooth for the good of your dental health. And although many of your teeth are easily removable, it’s occasionally more complicated, and requires a more involved procedure. Here’s why the surgical extraction of teeth may become necessary, and how your dentist differentiates these procedures from others.
Simple vs. Surgical The surgical extraction of teeth is actually the most common surgical procedure provided in the United States. When a tooth is visible above the gum line and Dr. Georgacopoulos can easily remove it with forceps, the procedure is called a simple extraction. If a more volatile tooth has yet to grow in, however, the removal of gum tissue or bone is necessary in order to extract it. This is called a surgical extraction, and requires stitches to close the site so that it can heal properly. Surgical Extractions are often referred to the Oral Surgeon of your choosing.
Why Surgical? By taking an x-ray and examining your tooth, we can usually determine whether or not your extraction will be simple or surgical. But there are times when a simple extraction turns into a surgical. If a tooth breaks off during the procedure, for instance, it may need to be taken out in pieces.
Wisdom teeth often face surgical extraction because they’re usually impacted, meaning they are not completely erupted into the mouth. This condition requires cutting through bone and tissue. Removing severely broken down teeth, root tips or teeth with long-curved roots are other examples of surgical extractions. Then there are times when the bone around a tooth has become dense, resulting in the need for surgical treatment.
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Why Can’t a Tooth be Saved? Teeth are usually removed due to trauma, disease or crowding. When a tooth cannot be repaired with a filling or a crown because of an accident or extensive decay, an extraction may be your best recourse. Teeth that aren’t supported by enough bone due to periodontal disease are also candidates for removal. Infected (abscessed) teeth that don’t respond to root canal treatment may need to be taken out, as well.
It’s not unusual for your Orthodontist to recommend an extraction or two before orthodontic treatment begins because of crowed teeth. Similarly, wisdom teeth are frequently extracted because of the awkward position in which they grow behind your molars.
What to Expect With surgical extractions, you’ll most likely have one or more stitches at the extraction site. Regardless of whether your extraction is simple or surgical, it’s always important to closely follow your dentist’s after-care instructions to speed recovery and avoid any complications. We recommend the following:
- Bite down on a gauze pad for 30 minutes after the extraction to help stop the bleeding.
- Avoid unnecessary talking, eating and drinking for the first two hours after extraction.
- Drink plenty of lukewarm or cold liquids after the bleeding subsides – No HOT liquids or foods.
- Maintain your diet, but start with clear liquids and soft foods for the first day.
- Don’t rinse or brush your teeth for 12 hours.
- Avoid the surgical area when brushing, although you can gently rinse with a diluted mouthwash or 1/4 teaspoon of table salt in a glass of lukewarm water
- Don’t use straws, smoke or spit forcefully as long as there is bleeding.
- Follow the instructions given on using any prescribed pain medications.
- Call our office if you have any persistent pain or bleeding.
The surgical extraction of teeth may sound a bit daunting, but with today’s modern procedures and anesthesia, you have nothing to worry about. Afterwards, you and Dr. Georgacopoulos can discuss tooth replacement options to restore the function and beauty to your smile.
Did You Know…
People Who are Born Without any Wisdom Teeth at All
Patients Who Experience Symptoms After an Extraction
Adults Who Have Teeth Removed Due to Gum Disease
Dr. Georgacopoulos and her staff welcome you to Axion Dental Care, where dental artistry meets caring hands. Whether you’re a familiar face around our office, or brand new to the neighborhood, we want you to feel welcome when you’re here. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your dental needs. (708) 995-7495.